Vale of Glamorgan Walking Festival
Friday 11th – Sunday 13th May 2012
While most of the Vale of Glamorgan Ramblers were enjoying the Isle of Wight Walking Festival, some of us stayed at home and took part in the 3rd Vale of Glamorgan Walking Festival.
The programme was varied over the 3 days with David James leading 2 of the walks.
Saturday 12th May – Iolo Morgannwg Community Walk
Iolo Morganwg (Ned of Glamorgan) was the ‘bardic name’ of Edward Williams (1747-1826) who was born at Penonn near Llancarfan, and lived at Flemingston where there is a memorial in the church. He followed his father as a stonemason, and imported marble into Aberthaw.
However, early on he became a successful poet, and was concerned with preserving, and maintaining, the literary and cultural traditions of Wales.
To coincide with the National Eisteddfod at Llandow in August, this walking route has being developed by Creative Rural Communities, to entice visitors to explore areas of the Rural Vale, whilst gaining an understanding and appreciation of Iolo Morganwg’s life ,work and legacy.
Led by Dave Owens of Transition Cowbridge, with Debbie Leigh of Cowbridge Hub and Richard of Coed Hills Forest Gardens we were met in the Physic Gardens by Branwen of CRC who gave us a brief outline of his life before heading down the High Street to Costa Coffee, which was his shop, the first Fair Trade shop of its time.
Heading past the Comprehensive School on the boardwalk, we walked through a Site of Special Scientific Interest onto Aberthin. During this part of the walk Richard of Coed Hills, identified many plants and their uses. It was here we saw a buzzard enjoying the warm thermals.
We continued up to Stalling Down to see the breathtaking views where he held his first Gorsedd meeting. It also offered a great view of the Pant Wilkin racing stables.
Onwards to the Clump – the site of public hangings, which Iolo never attended, then down into St Hilary village for lunch at the Bush Inn. Richard fried up some nettles for us to try and they were very similar to crispy seaweed. From here, Emlyn took a small group of us southwards towards the Old Vicarage where we had a superb view of the coastline and Beaupre Castle.
Walking through Bluebell Wood, the wild garlic was out in force and it was here we stopped for some romantic poetry Iolo wrote and one of the group, Katie read it beautifully in Welsh, then gave us the english translation.
Returning to the Old Hall gardens via Llanblethian, we all agreed that walking in the footsteps of Iolo Morgannwg, while learning about his life and hearing some of his poetry brough the walk to life.
A special thanks to Richard and Emlyn for sharing their knowledge and enthusisam.
Our Secretary Ian Fraser will be leading this walk during the Eisteddfod and I would highly recommend it.